Belfast Film Festival presented the Irish premiere of Oscar winning filmmaker Alex Gibney’s new film, No Stone Unturned, in a packed to capacity Loughinisland GAA hall on Friday night, past.
In an emotional gathering, family and friends of the six victims of the Loughinisland massacre, watched together as the opening sequence, a re-enactment of the killing unfolded on screen. No Stone Unturned is a film about “collusion” in Northern Ireland, told through a forensic account of one of the most horrific crimes of the Troubles. Gibney focuses on the cold-blooded murder of six men who were watching Ireland v Italy in a World Cup football match in a tiny pub in Loughinisland, County Down. The murder was carried out by the outlawed Ulster Volunteer Force.
Long and detailed, shocking and terrifying, this documentary about the 1994 massacre is investigative journalism at its rigorous best. It makes for uncomfortable viewing, showing how peace today sits on a bed of lies and collusion. Although evidence at the scene of this multiple murder pointed to the guilty parties within 24 hours, nobody has been tried for the killings to this day.
Gibney exposes the extent of “collusion” in a documentary that is painstakingly even-handed. Although this is a UVF killing, No Stone Unturned scrupulously documents all sides of the conflict, and there were many sides by the end, often working against themselves and each other.
The title of the documentary comes from the promise made to Clare Rogan, who lost her husband that night, by a local police investigator that they would track down the murderers. “I don’t think they ever lifted a stone, never mind turn it,” Clare comments. Gibney and the local team of meticulous minds working with him, make sure to shift every rock, uncovering the truth, naming names and giving voice to the unheard community and families of Loughinisland.
Relatives of both Peter McCormack (Shot dead by the UVF in November 1992 at the Thierafurth Inn, Kilcoo, Co Down) and of Martin Lavery (killed in December 1992 by a Browning 9mm handgun used also in the Loughinisland killings) attended the screening.
The film’s producer Trevor Birney, Emma Rogan (whose father was killed that night) and the legal representative for the families, Niall Murphy joined festival director Michele Devlin for a Q&A after the screening. Amongst others, Barney Green’s niece, Moira Casement, the bar man who was injured in the shooting and journalist Barry McCaffrey attended the premiere. They also feature in the film,
It has been long-listed for Oscar consideration and has received release interest in territories around the world. No Stone Unturned will open in cinemas across the UK and Ireland this Friday November 10th.